Marijuana May Be Safer Than Previously Thought
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Marijuana May Be Safer Than Previously Thought
Posted by CN Staff on February 23, 2015 at 07:59:44 PT
By Christopher Ingraham
Source: Washington Post
USA -- Compared to other recreational drugs -- including alcohol -- marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use.Those are the topline findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports, a subsidiary of Nature. Researchers sought to quantify the risk of death associated with the use of a variety of commonly-used substances. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.
And all the way at the bottom of the list? Weed -- roughly 114 times less deadly than booze, according to the authors, who ran calculations that compared lethal doses of a given substance with the amount that a typical person uses. Marijuana is also the only drug studied that posed low mortality risk to its users.These findings reinforce drug safety rankings developed 10 years ago under a slightly different methodology. So in that respect, the study is more of a reaffirmation of previous findings than anything else. But given the current national and international debates over the legal status of marijuana and the risks associated with its use, the study arrives at a good time.It's important to note here that "safer than alcohol" doesn't mean "safe, full stop." Indeed, one of the more troubling lines of thought I see in some quarters of the marijuana legalization movement is that because marijuana is "natural," or because it can be used as (non-FDA approved) "medicine," it is therefore "safe."But of course, rattlesnake venom is natural too, and nobody would call that safe. And prescription painkillers are both medicinal and responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year.There are any number of risks associated with marijuana use. Most of these risks involve mental health issues, and most increase the earlier you start using and the more frequently you use.That said, there are risks associated with literally anything you put in your body. Eat too much sugar and you're on the fast track to tooth-rot and diabetes. Take in too much salt and you're looking at increased odds of a stroke. Psychoactive substances, like marijuana and alcohol, aren't at all unique for having risks associated with them.What is unique is how these substances are treated under the law, and particularly the way in which alcohol and nicotine essentially get a free pass under the Controlled Substances Act, the cornerstone of the nation's drug policy. This study's authors note that legislative classifications of psychoactive drugs often "lack a scientific basis," and their findings are confirmation of this fact.Given the relative risks associated with marijuana and alcohol, the authors recommend "risk management prioritization towards alcohol and tobacco rather than illicit drugs." And they say that when it comes to marijuana, the low amounts of risk associated with the drug "suggest a strict legal regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition approach."In other words, individuals and organizations up in arms over marijuana legalization could have a greater impact on the health and well-being of this country by shifting their attention to alcohol and cigarettes. It takes extraordinary chutzpah to rail against the dangers of marijuana use by day and then go home to unwind with a glass of far more lethal stuff in the evening.Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.Source: Washington Post (DC) Author: Christopher IngrahamPublished: February 23, 2015Copyright: 2015 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by potpal on February 24, 2015 at 17:55:58 PT
safe and safer
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on February 23, 2015 at 21:36:42 PT
I'm so sorry about your friend. There are so many sad, sad stories like his all throughout the deadly and stupid history of this prohibition. I think about them often. Some people were driven to outright suicide over the persecution they suffered because of their cannabis use. That persecution and shaming was and is so wrong and so stupid. So many will finally be, soon, I hope, saved from this sorrowful danger, so prevalent in our past. I'm very grateful for that. But still, so many have been lost and so needlessly. I don't want to forget them. I don't want them forgotten. Ever. Nor the stupidity that caused our losing them.
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on February 23, 2015 at 17:34:46 PT
"Their prohibitionist reply was, Cannabis can Kill you!"As You probably already know,,,In over 5,000 years of documented use, cannabis still has not killed one single person. 0
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on February 23, 2015 at 17:30:41 PT
Interesting development in Florida.
US FL: After Medical Marijuana Defeat, Some in GOP Tentatively"WEST PALM BEACH ( AP ) - Republican lawmakers in Florida who once opposed medical pot are now embracing it, motivated by the strong show of support from voters and worried that another constitutional amendment during next year's presidential race could drive opponents to the polls." Cont.-0-Next election will almost certainly see another medical cannabis ballot issue and the Repub's know very well that will bring out more Dem's etc. and they fear that so they are needing to consider their options. And as the article states, they know it's going to pass at some point... So they may be motivated to do something before next election.
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Comment #4 posted by Lucas on February 23, 2015 at 17:23:29 PT:
repeating lies makes them seem true
> There are any number of risks associated with marijuana use. Most of these risks involve mental health issues, and most increase the earlier you start using and the more frequently you use.False.. Repeated often, as if true.. here is the rebuttal the possibility that 12 year olds with undiagnosed Schizophrenia, have discovered that Cannabis eases their symptoms. Result: Prohibitionists claim the Cannabis Caused the Schizophrenia.. Correlation does NOT mean Causalityand fwiw, I have a dead schizophrenic friend. His family committed him to an institution, to prevent him from using Cannabis. They succeeded, he died of an overdose of his antipsychotic medications, combined with alcohol.. I told his parents it was a shame they were so against his Cannabis use.. Their prohibitionist reply was, Cannabis can Kill you!.. I said, He did not die of Cannabis, he died from Pharmaceuticals.
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on February 23, 2015 at 15:00:41 PT
Cannabis prohibitionists are misguided.
This Washington Post article not only puts cannabis into proper perspective it also helps shine the light on people who support cannabis prohibition as misguided. "-roughly 114 times less deadly than booze"
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on February 23, 2015 at 10:09:44 PT
If I don't correct my spell check!
Gurrrh!I is hard to no what I don't no and what I am saying know to. I don't no everything that I know. I just no what I don't no!
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on February 23, 2015 at 09:18:57 PT
DEA, ( self interest.) Maven Michele Leonhart.
She knows pot is safe and yet...If this Troll does not get prison, there will be know justice.Remuneration for false imprisonment is the moral imparitive.
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